Environmental Liability

Failure to meet environmental targets


China: According to the State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA), environmental problems have become a major hindrance to China’s economic and social development. In 2006, 161 severe pollution incidents were recorded. Their goals of reducing energy consumption by 4% and emissions of pollutants by 2% were not met; on the contrary, energy consumption and emissions increased during the first half of the year. Moreover, more than 70% of rivers, lakes and underground water supplies in 90% of Chinese cities are contaminated.


Source: Agence France Press – English Wire, 10 January 2007

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re


Listed firms forced to submit environmental data


China: To cope with a water pollution rate of about 70% and an urban air quality that is among the worst in the world, the Chinese Government intends to force energy intense companies that intend to raise money on the stock market or companies that are already listed to make full disclosure of their environmental impact. Inspections will be carried out to make sure companies adhere to this prerequisite. This regulation covers companies operating in more than one province and in 13 sectors, such as thermal power generation, iron, steel and cement.


Source: Agence France Presse-English Wire, 26 February 2008

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re


Pollution turns river red in central China


China: The Hubei province government in central China cut water supplies to some 200,000 people, as part of the Han River and its tributaries turned red and foamy due to pollution. Tests revealed elevated levels of ammonia, nitrogen and permanganate, a chemical used for metal cleaning, tanning and bleaching. The communities were dependent on emergency water supplies; five schools were closed, while others could not provide food to the students.


Source: Associated Press, 27 February 2008

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re


Record fine for factory over infamous Songhua spill


China: Jilin Petrochemical, a subsidiary of Petrochina Group, was fined a record CNY 1 million (USD128,000) as a result of a toxic spill that even reached Russia and caused authorities to cut off water supplies to millions of people. This fine constitutes the maximum amount allowed by law.

In November 2005, a huge explosion caused approximately 100 tonnes of carcinogenic benzene to seep into the Songhua River raising benzene levels to 108 times safety levels in China. The government only announced the severe damage ten days following the incident and after repeated denials that there had been any major environmental impact.


Source: Agence France Press – English Wire, 15 January 2007

Asian Casualty Report 10th Edition June 2008 – Gen Re

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